This is the third post of this series. Our second post about managing your desktop in Ubuntu can be found here.

In this post, I am going to show you various ways users can install programs or packages in Ubuntu Linux. Just like Microsoft Windows, there are many methods to install programs in Ubuntu.

Programs, also known as packages in Ubuntu can be installed from Ubuntu default software repository, downloaded, and via personal archives or PPAs.

Which method you choose is up to you.

If a package is only available via a certain channel, you’ll be restricted and may only use what’s available in order to get the program installed. For example, some developers release custom software to perform specific task in Ubuntu which may only be available from their personal PPAs. In this case, you’ll have to use the PPA method to get the software installed.

Installing packages from Ubuntu Software Center

Ubuntu Software Center is the default programs catalog in Ubuntu. Many of the programs there can be installed free of charge. There are few that are paid programs and are very useful.

You’ll also find magazines, books and other non-software release products from the software center. If you’re looking for a particular package that’s not available from the software center, then you may have to use other channels to get it.

To access Ubuntu Software Center, click its icon on the launcher.




When Software Center opens, all you have to do is search for the program you wish to install and install it.


Installing packages via personal PPAs

Another way to install program packages in Ubuntu is via personal archives or PPAs. These archives are hosted online and are maintained by individuals or companies. They are not regulated or monitored.

When you install packages from any of those archives, you’re doing it at you own risk and may not guaranteed work with Ubuntu.

Below are the commands to install these packages.

The first step is to getting a PPA package installed is to get its repository key. These PPA repositories are assigned keys based on security and trust. Systems that installed a repository key automatically trust that repository.

All future updates and patches will automatically be downloaded and installed on these systems as long as the PPA archive is still active and accessible.

The commands below add a PPA repository as well as download its key.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:repository_name

Replace repository_name with the original repository.

If  the repository name is correct, the command will download the repository’s key as well as install the repository.

The next step is to update your system so that the newly added repository can be accessed by Ubuntu.

Run the commands below to do that.

sudo apt-get update


Finally, run the following commands to install the package.

sudo apt-get install package_name



Installing DEB packages in Ubuntu

Another way to get programs installed in Ubuntu is using Ubuntu Software Center to install programs that are compiled and archived using .deb format. Packages that are archived using this format can easily be installed using the dpkg command.

If you come across a package that is archived in .deb format, simply download it and double-click it to open in Software Center. Then install it from there.

You could also run the commands below to install it.

sudo dpkg -i package_name.deb


There may be other ways to install program packages in Ubuntu, but these methods are the primary ways.

Hope this helps.